[OPE-L:6054] staged footage

From: Rakesh Bhandari (rakeshb@stanford.edu)
Date: Tue Oct 09 2001 - 14:25:46 EDT

From: nicola taylor <n.taylor@student.murdoch.edu.au>
Subject: [OPE-L:6047] Re: Palestinian staged footage?
Reply-To: ope-l@galaxy.csuchico.edu
Sender: owner-ope-l@galaxy.csuchico.edu

 a cynical manipulation of 'truth'
is worse than using old footage
comradely Nicky

i just want to add that my palestinian friend could not be more upset about the 
horrifying acts of al Qaeda. for example, she recently sent me this post:

despite bin laden's efforts to drive the last nail in the coffin of palestine, 
i still foolishly think it worthwhile to be informed so i am sending you a 
short fact sheet that can be found also on the al-awda.org website. you may 
find yourselves in conversations where some of these details might be handy.

much love,
XXXXXXX(i deleted her name)

              The Right of Return, a Basic Right Still Denied

                During and after the establishment of the state of Israel,
                almost 800,000 Palestinian refugees were created by a
                process that today would be called ethnic cleansing.
                These refugees and their descendants are the largest
                and most persistent refugee problem in the world with
                over 3.7 million registered by the United Nations and
                about 2 million others not registered but living in
                countries and regions sometimes within a very short
                distance of their original homes and lands.

                The international community, which recommended the
                partition of Palestine, felt a deep sense of responsibility
                for this tragedy. Count Folke Bernadotte, the UN
                Mediator stated: "It would be an offence against the
                principles of elemental justice if these innocent victims
                of the conflict were denied the right to return to their
                homes, while Jewish immigrants flow into Palestine" (UN
                Doc Al 648, 1948). This remains true today as any person
                with a Jewish religion can gain automatic citizenship
                while Palestinians born in Palestine/Israel cannot return
                to their homeland.

                The Right of Return has a solid legal basis. The United
                Nations adopted Resolution 194 on December 11, 1948.
                Paragraph 11 states: "...the refugees wishing to return
                to their homes and live at peace with their neighbors
                should be permitted to do so at the earliest practicable
                date... compensation should be paid for the property
                of those choosing not to return." Resolution 194 was
                affirmed practically every year since with a universal
                consensus, except for Israel and the U.S. This resolution is
                further clarified by UN General Assembly Resolution
                3236 which reaffirms in Subsection 2, "the inalienable
                right of the Palestinians to return to their homes and
                property from which they have been displaced and
                uprooted, and calls for their return". Hindering return is
                an act of aggression which deserves condemnation
                and/or action by the Security Council. Liability for
                consequences of violation remains with Israel. UN
                partition resolution 181 and Israel's later admission to
                the UN were conditional on acceptance of relevant UN
                resolutions including 194.

                The Right of Return does not derive its validity merely
                from UN Resolutions. The Universal Declaration of
                Human Rights article 13 reaffirms the right of every
                individual to leave and return to his country. Moreover,
                the Principle of Self Determination guarantees, inter
                alia, the right of ownership and domicile in one's own
                country. This principle was adopted by the UN in 1947.
                In 1969 and thereafter, it was explicitly applied to the
                Palestinian People, including "the legality of the
                Peoples' struggle for Self-Determination and liberation",
                (GAOR 2535 (xxiv), 2628 (xxv), 2672 (xxv), 2792 (xxvi)).
                International law demands that neither occupation nor
                sovereignty diminish the rights of private ownership.
                When the Ottomans surrendered in 1920, Palestinian
                ownership of the land was maintained. The land and
                property of "the refugees" remains their own and they
                are entitled to return to it.

                Research not only shows that the right of the refugees
                is sacred and legal but also possible (i.e. it is a myth that
                Israelis would have to be displaced to allow for the
                return of the refugees). A study on the demography of
                Israel shows that 78% of Israelis are living in 14 percent
                of Israel and that the remaining 86% of the land in Israel
                is mostly land that belongs to the refugees on which
                22% of the Israelis live. However, 20% live in city centers,
                which are mostly Palestinian such as, Beer Al Saba',
                Ashdod, Majdal, Asqalan, Nazareth, Haifa, Acre, Tiberias
                and Safad. As for the remaining 20%, they live in
                kibbutzes and moshavs. They control the legacy and
                heritage of five million Palestinian refugees. Is there any
                logic to having 2,400 refugees on one square kilometer
                in the Gaza Strip while any one of them could look over
                the barbed wire and see his land practically empty? If
                Gaza refugees returned to their homes in southern
                Palestine, no more than five percent of Jews in the
                center would be affected. If the refugees of Lebanon
                returned to their homes in the Galilee no more than
                one percent of Jews in the center would be affected.
                The total number of refugees from Gaza and Lebanon
                equals the number of Russian immigrants who came to
                Israel in the '90s to live in the homes of these refugees.
                What right brings in Russian Jews and what kind of
                peace deprives Palestinian refugees the right to return

                According to a report by Amnesty International last
                December, 2650 Palestinian houses have been
                destroyed since 1987 by Israel in the West Bank,
                including east Jerusalem, on the pretext of not having
                building permission. Further thousands of acres owned
                by Palestinians have been confiscated to build
                settlements in the occupied territories in contraventions
                to the 4th Geneva convention Article 49 stating that
                the "Occupying Power shall not transfer parts of its own
                civilian population into the territory it occupies." The AI
                report is available at:

                The inalienable rights of refugees cannot be left to
                "negotiations" between Israel and the Palestinian
                authority. International law considers agreements
                between an occupier and any body in occupied
                areas to be null and void if they deprive civilians of
                recognized human rights including the rights to
                repatriation and restitution. No peace will be durable
                without solving the refugee situation regardless of
                agreements signed between a strong party (Israel) and
                a weak and unrepresentative one (Yasser Arafat).

                The US is bound by its constitution to support human
                rights and freedom. There is no more elemental right
                than one's right to his/her home and to live in his/her
                land. The US could use the massive financial support we
                give to the State of Israel to press for this right. 

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